Title:
COMPUTER-CONTROLLED TRAINING DEVICE FOR SPINE-STABILIZING MUSCULATURE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature is designed to tilt an upstanding user by a predetermined angle in accordance with a training program recorded in a computer so as to cause a reflexive movement for the user based on the human body's sense of balance for maintaining posture. The training device for spine-stabilizing musculature includes a base stand, a pitching unit having a pitching plate installed above the base stand in a vertically pivotally rotatable manner, a rolling unit having a rolling plate rotatably coupled to the pitching unit, a securing unit mounted to the rolling unit for securing the user's body at a fixed position, and a cover for preventing the pitching unit and a part of the rolling unit below the rolling plate from being exposed to the outside.



Inventors:
Chang, In-bae (Seocho-gu, KR)
Han, Dong-chul (Gangnam-gu, KR)
Application Number:
11/685287
Publication Date:
07/03/2008
Filing Date:
03/13/2007
Assignee:
Seoul National University Industry Foundation (Gwanak-gu, KR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B23/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MATHEW, FENN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OBLON, MCCLELLAND, MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P. (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature comprising: a base stand; a pitching unit having a pitching plate installed above the base stand in a vertically pivotally rotatable manner; a rolling unit having a rolling plate rotatably coupled to the pitching unit; a securing unit mounted to the rolling unit for securing the user's body at a fixed position; a cover for preventing the pitching unit and a part of the rolling unit below the rolling plate from being exposed to the outside; and a computer terminal for controlling the pitching unit and the rolling unit.

2. The computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to claim 1, wherein the pitching unit comprises: a stationary plate fixedly mounted on the base stand; a pivoting plate vertically installed at an upper front position of the stationary plate, the pivoting plate having upper and lower insertion holes; a pair of link bars installed at an upper rear position of the stationary plate; a pitching plate pivotally rotatably coupled to the stationary plate by use of the pivoting plate and the link bars; a pitching drive shaft penetrated through the lower insertion holes of the pivoting plate by use of bearings, so as to be pivotally rotatably coupled to the stationary plate; and a pitching motor connected to the pitching drive shaft, wherein the pivoting plate is pivotally rotatably coupled to the pitching plate via the upper insertion holes thereof, and wherein each of the link bars has first and second ends pivotally rotatably coupled to the stationary plate and the pitching plate, respectively.

3. The computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to claim 1, wherein the rolling unit comprises: a rolling motor fixedly coupled to the pitching plate of the pitching unit; a rolling drive shaft vertically coupled to the rolling motor; and a rolling plate fixedly coupled to an upper end of the rolling drive shaft.

4. The computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to claim 1, wherein the securing unit comprises: a pair of leg securing members fixedly installed on an upper surface of the rolling plate for securing the user's leg at a fixed position; and a waist securing member having a stationary bar fixedly coupled, at a lower end thereof, to a side of the rolling plate, a movable bar extendably inserted into the stationary bar in a height adjustable manner, and a belt provided at an upper end of the movable bar for surrounding and securing the user's waist.

5. The computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to claim 4, wherein the securing unit further comprises a circular safety bar configured to be gripped by the user, and wherein the safety bar is rotatably connected to the movable bar by use of a joint and has a hook installed at a position thereof for securing the safety bar to the movable bar.

6. The computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to claim 4, wherein the belt of the securing unit has a double fastening structure using a buckle having a coupling hook and a Velcro tape, to achieve improved securing safety.

7. The computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to claim 4, wherein the height adjustment of the waist securing member is accomplished by inserting a height adjusting pin through selected ones of a plurality of adjusting holes formed at side surfaces of the stationary bar and the movable bar.

8. The computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to claim 4, wherein an upper end of the movable bar is integrally formed with a semi-circular support for supporting the user's waist.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a device for training musculature surrounding the spine, and more particularly, to a computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature, which is designed to tilt an upstanding user by a predetermined angle in accordance with a training program recorded in a computer so as to cause a reflexive movement for the user based on the human body's sense of balance for maintaining posture, thereby training musculature surrounding the spine, including an external oblique muscle and psoas muscle, via the reflex movement of the user and thus, preventing lumbago.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, if a variety of muscles surrounding the spine lose balance, the spine is affected by an unbalanced force and thus, has a risk of lumbago. Of the variety of muscles surrounding the spine, in particular, lumbago or disk disorders mainly occur in the region of vertebrae Nos. 3 and 4. To heal lumbago or disk disorders with a training treatment, as shown in FIG. 4, it is necessary to indiscriminately train an external oblique muscle 1, a psoas muscle 3, and a quadrate lumbar muscle 2, which are adjacent to a vertebra 4. However, most conventional muscular training devices have been developed for training only an external oblique muscle. A representative treatment for training a psoas muscle is a sit-up, but the sit-up is very difficult and thus, unacceptable. For this reason, there is high demand for an efficient and convenient muscular training device for spine-stabilizing musculature.

FIG. 5 illustrates a conventional waist-reinforcing training device disclosed in Korean Patent Application No. 2004-7017607. As shown in FIG. 5, the conventional waist-reinforcing training device 5 includes a seat plate 7 designed to support a person in a sitting position, and a spring 6 for supporting the seat 7 in a movable manner. As the seat plate 7 is moved in all directions under the operation of the spring 6 in a state wherein the user's hips are seated thereon, the disclosed training device has the effect of reinforcing waist musculature. However, the above described training device and other conventional waist-reinforcing training devices have a relatively large rotating angle and thus, are designed for healthy persons who want to reinforce the waist ordinarily. In other words, the conventional waist-reinforcing training devices are unsuitable for weak persons and patients who have a problem in their waist and thus cannot overcome an excessive force applied to the waist. Although a training device for exclusive use of patients for the purpose of healing was commercialized by BMFC, the training device is very expensive and thus, has a limited range of use to a large-scale hospital.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and it is an object of the present invention to provide a training device for spine-stabilizing musculature which can freely regulate a rotating angle thereof in accordance with a training mode programmed in a computer connected to the training device, thereby enabling delicate muscular exercise and being widely available to healthy adults and patients suffering from waist pain, and can achieve not only the user's safety via leg and waist securing members, but also reduced manufacturing costs by virtue of a simplified configuration thereof.

In accordance with the present invention, the above and other objects can be accomplished by the provision of a computer-controlled training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature comprising: a base stand; a pitching unit having a pitching plate installed above the base stand in a vertically pivotally rotatable manner; a rolling unit having a rolling plate rotatably coupled to the pitching unit; a securing unit mounted to the rolling unit for securing the user's body at a fixed position; a cover for preventing the pitching unit and a part of the rolling unit below the rolling plate from being exposed to the outside; and a computer terminal for controlling the pitching unit and the rolling unit.

Preferably, the pitching unit comprises: a stationary plate fixedly mounted on the base stand; a pivoting plate vertically installed at an upper front position of the stationary plate, the pivoting plate having upper and lower insertion holes; a pair of link bars installed at an upper rear position of the stationary plate; a pitching plate pivotally rotatably coupled to the stationary plate by use of the pivoting plate and the link bars; a pitching drive shaft penetrated through the lower insertion holes of the pivoting plate by use of bearings, so as to be pivotally rotatably coupled to the stationary plate; and a pitching motor connected to the pitching drive shaft, the pivoting plate is pivotally rotatably coupled to the pitching plate via the upper insertion holes thereof, and each of the link bars has first and second ends pivotally rotatably coupled to the stationary plate and the pitching plate, respectively.

Preferably, the rolling unit comprises: a rolling motor fixedly coupled to the pitching plate of the pitching unit; a rolling drive shaft vertically coupled to the rolling motor; and a rolling plate fixedly coupled to an upper end of the rolling drive shaft.

Preferably, the securing unit comprises: a pair of leg securing members fixedly installed on an upper surface of the rolling plate for securing the user's leg at a fixed position; and a waist securing member having a stationary bar fixedly coupled, at a lower end thereof, to a side of the rolling plate, a movable bar extendably inserted into the stationary bar in a height adjustable manner, and a belt provided at an upper end of the movable bar for surrounding and securing the user's waist.

Preferably, the securing unit further comprises a circular safety bar configured to be gripped by the user, and the safety bar is rotatably connected to the movable bar by use of a joint and has a hook installed at a position thereof for securing the safety bar to the movable bar.

Preferably, the belt of the securing unit has a double fastening structure using a buckle having a coupling hook and a Velcro tape. Preferably, the height adjustment of the waist securing member is accomplished by inserting a height adjusting pin through selected ones of a plurality of adjusting holes formed at side surfaces of the stationary bar and the movable bar, and an upper end of the movable bar is integrally formed with a semi-circular support for supporting the user's waist.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and other advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view illustrating a training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a side view illustrating a training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2B is an exploded perspective view of the spine-stabilizing musculature training apparatus shown in FIG. 2A;

FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C are views illustrating different operating states of a pitching unit and a rolling unit according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic scan view illustrating human spine-stabilizing musculature; and

FIG. 5 is a view schematically illustrating a conventional waist-reinforcing training apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Now, a computer-controlled training device for spine-stabilizing musculature according to the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a side view illustrating a training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2A is a side view illustrating a training apparatus for spine-stabilizing musculature according to another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2B is an exploded perspective view of the spine-stabilizing musculature training apparatus shown in FIG. 2A. FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C are views illustrating different operating states of a pitching unit and a rolling unit according to the present invention.

As shown, the training device 10 of the present invention includes: a base stand 50; a pitching unit 20 mounted on the base stand 50 and designed to be tilted by a predetermined angle by a vertical pitching movement thereof; a rolling unit 30 rotatably coupled to the pitching unit 20; a securing unit 40 mounted on the rolling unit 30 for securing the user's body at a fixed position; a cover 60 for preventing the pitching unit 20 and a part of the rolling unit 30 from being exposed to the outside; and a computer terminal (not shown) for controlling the operation of both the pitching unit 20 and the rolling unit 30.

The pitching unit 20 includes: a stationary plate 21 fixedly mounted on the base stand 50; a pivoting plate 23 provided at an upper front position of the stationary plate 21; a pair of link bars 24 provided at an upper rear position of the stationary plate 21; and a pitching plate 22 pivotally rotatably coupled to the stationary plate 21 by use of the pivoting plate 23 and the link bars 24. The stationary plate 21 has coupling pieces 211 protruded upward from an upper surface thereof for the rotatable coupling of the pivoting plate 23 and the link bars 24. The pivoting plate 23 and the link bars 24 are coupled, at one end, to the protruded coupling pieces 211. More specifically, the pivoting plate 23 has upper and lower insertion holes, and a pitching drive shaft 26 penetrates through the lower insertion holes of the pivoting plate 23. With this configuration, the pivoting plate 23 can be rotatably coupled to the coupling pieces 211 of the stationary plate 21 by use of bearings. The pitching drive shaft 26 is coupled, at one end thereof, to a pitching motor 25, to receive power from the pitching motor 25. To facilitate the transmission of power to the pivoting plate 23, the pitching drive shaft 26 has a key 261 formed at a position of an outer peripheral surface thereof. The link bars 24, which are coupled to the rear position of the stationary plate 21, serve to prevent the rear end of the pitching plate 22 from drooping. As the link bars 24 cooperate with the pivoting plate 23 located in front thereof, the link bars 24 have a variable coupling angle with the pitching plate 22, thereby varying a tilting angle of an upper surface of the pitching plate 22.

More specifically, if the pitching motor 25 is operated in a direction in a state wherein the pitching plate 22 keeps a horizontally state as shown in FIG. 3A, the pivoting plate 23 is rotated forward and simultaneously, the pitching plate 22 that is linked to the pivoting plate 23 is pulled forward, thereby causing the link bars 24 linked to a rear surface of the pitching plate 22 to be pulled, as shown in FIG. 3B. In this case, the link bars 24 are rotated about their coupling portions with respect to the stationary plate 21. Thereby, a portion of the pitching plate 22, coupled to the link bars 24, is lowered. As a result, the pitching plate 22 is tilted downward from the front end to the rear end thereof.

On the other hand, if the pitching motor 25 is rotated in an opposite direction, the pivoting plate 23 is rotated rearward and simultaneously, the pitching plate 22 that is linked to the pivoting plate 23 is pushed rearward as shown in FIG. 3C. Here, the link bars 24, having upper ends coupled to the pitching plate 22, are rotated rearward about their lower ends coupled to the stationary plate 21. Thereby, an internal angle defined by the pitching plate 22 and the link bars 24 is reduced and the rear end of the pitching plate is raised. As a result, the pitching plate 22 is tilted upward from the front end to the rear end thereof.

The rolling unit 30 serves to transmit the rotating force of the pitching unit 20. The rolling unit 30 includes: a rolling motor 31 integrally coupled to a lower surface of the pitching plate 22 of the pitching unit 20, so as to allow the rolling unit 30 to be moved based on the operation of the pitching unit 20; a rolling drive shaft 32 having a lower end coupled to the rolling motor 31, the rolling drive shaft 32 being vertically penetrated through a hole perforated in the pitching plate 22; and a rolling plate 33 coupled to an upper end of the rolling drive shaft 32, so as to be rotated by the operation of the rolling motor 31.

In operation, the pitching unit 20 acts to tilt the rolling drive shaft 32 by a predetermined angle, and the rolling unit 30 is rotatable about the tilted rolling drive shaft 32.

The securing unit 40 for securing the user's body at a fixed position includes: a pair of leg securing members 41 coupled to an upper surface of the rolling plate 33; and a waist securing member 42 for securing the user's waist.

Each of the leg securing members 41, having the configuration as shown in FIG. 2B, is used to secure the user's leg at a fixed position without a risk of unintentional movement and has a plurality of Velcro tapes attached thereto for fixedly surrounding the top side of the foot, the shank, etc.

The waist securing member 42 includes: a stationary bar 44 fixedly coupled to a rear surface of the rolling plate 33; a movable bar 45 extendably inserted into the stationary bar 44; and a belt 46 provided at an upper end of the movable bar 45. The movable bar 45 is partially inserted into the stationary bar 44 such that it is extendable from the stationary bar 44 to conform to the body size of the user. Both the movable bar 45 and the stationary bar 44 have a plurality of adjusting holes 441 formed at side surfaces thereof. As a height adjusting pin 47 is inserted into any selected ones of the adjusting holes 441 of the stationary bar 44 and the movable bar 45, the movable bar 45 can be fixed at a desired height. Of course, instead of using the above described adjusting holes 441 and the height adjusting pin 47, other appropriate fixing means including a hook may be used to adjust the height of the movable bar 45. The belt 46 is configured to surround the user's waist, to allow the user to come into contact with the training device without a risk of shaking. The belt 46 has a double fastening structure consisting of a buckle 461 and a Velcro tape 462. The buckle 461 has a hook similar to other general belts, and the Velcro tape 462 is attached to an inner surface of the belt 46. With the use of the double fastening structure, the belt 46 can achieve a strong fastening force sufficient for preventing unintentional unfastening of the belt 46. Preferably, to more efficiently prevent the user's shaking, a semi-circular support 451 is installed to an upper end of the movable bar 45 for supporting the user's waist, and the belt 46 is extended from the support 451.

The securing unit 40 further includes a circular safety bar 43 installed to the upper end of the movable bar 45. The user can be more stably supported by the securing unit 40 by gripping the safety bar 43. The safety bar 43 is rotatably coupled to the movable bar 45 by use of a joint. Also, a hook 48 is formed at a position of the safety bar 43, so as to be caught by a holding recess that is formed at the upper end of the movable bar 45.

The training device 10 having the above described configuration has the function of preventing the pitching unit 20 and a portion of the rolling unit 30 below the rolling plate 33 from being exposed to the outside by use of the cover 60. This is efficient to prevent any accident caused by the exposure of the operating elements. Also, as a result of installing the computer terminal for controlling the pitching motor 25 and the rolling motor 31 around the training device 10, the rotating angle of the training device 10 can be appropriately adjusted in accordance with the body condition of the user. The computer terminal is programmed with a variety of operating modes, for example, a patient mode and a healthy person mode, etc., in order to subdivide the training strength and to determine an appropriate training sequence and time based on the user's body condition per each mode.

If the training device 10 begins to be operated in a state wherein the user's body is secured to the training device 10 by use of the leg securing members 41 and the waist securing member 42 of the securing unit 40, the pitching motor 25 is rotated in a direction in response to a signal from the computer terminal. The rotating force of the pitching motor 25 is transmitted to the pitching drive shaft 26, thereby causing the pivoting plate 23 coupled to the key 261 of the pitching drive shaft 26 to be rotated in a direction. With the rotation of the pivoting plate 23, coupling angles between the pivoting plate 23 and the pitching plate 22 and between the pitching plate 22 and the link bars 24 are changed. As a result, the upper surface of the pitching plate 22 is tilted upwardly or downwardly from the front end to the rear end thereof, so as to allow the user to be obliquely seated on the training device 10 by a predetermined angle.

If the rolling motor 31 coupled to the tilted pitching plate 22 is operated, the rolling plate 33, on which the user is seated, is rotated about a tilting axis. In this case, since the human body tends to stand vertically, spine stabilizing musculature, including an external oblique muscle and psoas muscle, is spontaneously strained, resulting in muscular reinforcing exercise. Meanwhile, when the training device 10 of the present invention is used for rehabilitation of patients having a spinal injury, the tilting angle of the pitching plate 22 reduces spinal stabilizing musculature strain without applying an unreasonable stress to the patient's body, so as to achieve the muscular reinforcing exercise.

As apparent from the above description, a computer-controlled training device for spinal stabilizing musculature according to the present invention provides the following effects.

Firstly, by freely adjusting a rotating angle of the training device in accordance with a training mode programmed in a computer that is connected to the training device, delicate muscular exercise is possible. This has the effect of allowing the training device to be widely available to healthy adults and patients suffering from waist pain. Furthermore, the training device of the present invention can achieve not only the user's safety via the provision of leg and waist securing members, but also reduced manufacturing costs by virtue of a simplified configuration thereof.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.